Arrow Corporation Inc. v. The “Sea Tiger” et al.

In Admiralty Practice, Service on (Updated )

This was an application to extend time for service of a Statement of Claim on one of the Defendants. The facts were that the Plaintiff had provided the Defendant with a copy of the Statement of Claim shortly after it was issued and later asked the Defendant to acknowledge service. The Defendant did not acknowledge service so the Plaintiff arranged to have it served but the service occurred out of time. The Plaintiff then indicated it would bring a motion to extend the time for service but delayed some six months in bringing the application. The Prothonotary noted that the test to apply was whether there was a continuing intent to pursue the claim, whether there is an arguable case and whether there would be prejudice to the proposed defendant should the extension be granted. The underlying consideration or general principal is to do justice between the parties. Applying this test the Prothonotary found that the explanation for the delay and the demonstration of a continuing intent were weak. He further found there was an arguable case and no prejudice. The important factor, however, was that the Defendant had acknowledged receipt of the Statement of Claim the day after it was issued. The Prothonotary suggested that this might have been sufficient to support a motion under Rule 147 validating the service noting that good service merely required proof that a legible copy of the document came into the hands of the Defendant. Under these circumstances the Prothonotary considered it would be an injustice to not allow the extension of time.